New Garstang boss Baker calls for the spirit of 2008

Lee Baker
Lee Baker

New Garstang boss Lee Baker is hoping to rekindle the spirit of 2008 after taking over the reins at the Riverside from Neil Crossley.

The 30-year-old took charge of his first match on Saturday – and was pleased with the way his men battled to a 2-2 draw at Coppull United in the West Lancashire League Premier Division.

Baker was an integral member of the last Garstang team to lift the league title eight years ago under manager Gary Hargreaves.

And the former defender is looking to instill some of the good habits which made that team successful into the present-day side.

“I’m looking to try to create the same team spirit like we had back then when we won the league title,” Baker said.

“It’s not just about having X amount of players in your squad.

“It’s about having that team unity and getting the team together.

“We had a great team spirit when we won the league and I’d like to try to instill the same sort of spirit now. From what I saw on Saturday against Coppull, we have that.”

Garstang required a late equaliser from 18-year-old youngster Ben Roberts to earn a draw against Coppull, but Baker felt a point was more than deserved.

“We had about eight or nine players missing, but I thought we played well,” said Baker. “I was very pleased to get a 2-2 draw and I thought we were the better team.

“The referee’s assessor after the game told me that Coppull gave away 17 fouls to our six, which was good because I told the lads not to give away any silly free-kicks.

“But I think that showed that we dominated a lot of the game.”

This evening, Garstang take on title favourites Charnock Richard at home before travelling to Euxton Villa at the weekend.

“It does not get any harder than playing Charnock Richard,” Baker said. “They are going for the league and will probably win the league.

“I am not expecting a massive result, but if the lads perform like they did on Saturday against Coppull then we should be okay.

After tonight, Baker will then prepare his men to face Euxton Villa away on Saturday and the new boss is aiming to finish as high as he can in the table.

“The club has not finished anything higher than fifth since we won the title,” he said. “ I don’t know if it’s possible that we can achieve higher than that this season, but it’s something we can aim for.”